Bridal Guide: 7 Trunk Shows to Visit Throughout the U.S.

Our guest blogger Kacey Bradley shares the 7 Must Visit Trunk Shows throughout the U.S.!

If you’re in the midst of planning your wedding, then chances are you have a packed to-do list. However, none of the items on the list matter quite as much as the first one: finding the perfect dress. If you don’t feel like a stunner when you put on your wedding gown, then none of the other details of your day will really matter.

If you want to have access to a huge array of dresses at your fingertips, more than you typically would in any given bridal shop, consider attending a trunk show. Trunk shows are special events in which designers come to the store and showcase their entire new line of gowns. Occasionally, they’ll also offer a discount, but trunk shows are more about getting early access to new looks and having a larger variety of options. Here are seven upcoming trunk shows worth traveling for.

  1. Berta Trunk Shows, Philadelphia — Oct. 26-28

If you’d describe your style as chic, contemporary and just a little bit sexy, then you’ll love the streamlined ball gowns and curve-hugging bridal dresses from Berta. You can try on all of them when Berta comes to Philadelphia for a trunk show this October. While you’re in the city, visit Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell for a dose of national history.

  1. BrideCon, Anaheim, CA — Sept. 23

BrideCon isn’t your average trunk show because it features more than one designer — in fact, hundreds of them. Instead of trying on the dresses yourself, BrideCon showcases the latest trends in a fashion show. This allows you to get a glimpse of what’s popular and then snatch up dresses online or in stores before anyone else knows they even exist. It’ll be in Anaheim in a few weeks, so after the show, hit up Disneyland for some rides and memory-making.

  1. Allure Bridals, Thousand Oaks, CA — Sept. 28-30

Allure Bridals offers lines that run the gamut from simple and traditional to lavish and modern, so anyone should be able to find a gown from the collection that suits their tastes. It hosts trunk shows all over the country, but it’s holding one in Thousand Oaks at Bella Bridal Couture this autumn you don’t want to miss. After all, once you find your dress, you can work on your wedding body by hiking the nearby trails that celebrities often frequent.

  1. Ashley & Justin Bride, New York City — Various Dates

New York City plays host to some of the most iconic bridal salons in the nation — think Kleinfeld Bridal, which boasts its own TV show. So it only makes sense that you would travel here for a trunk show. After you check out the sleek and stunning bridal gowns from Ashley & Justin Bride, head to Central Park, see a Broadway show, or check out Times Square. Upcoming trunk show dates fall in November, December and January.

  1. Dallas Bridal Show, Dallas — Jan. 26-27

The Dallas Bridal Show is another unconventional trunk show that takes an expo-style approach to wedding planning. Its featured designers will host fashion shows both days of the expo, giving you ample opportunities to figure out the style you like, and you can also chat with other vendors, like photographers and DJs. Afterward, enjoy a taste of Texan life by heading to Klyde Warren Park or the Dallas Museum of Art.

  1. Long Island Bridal Expo, Long Island, NY — Various Dates

The Long Island Bridal Expo plays host to wedding dress designers from David’s Bridal and Village Bridal & Boutique, and their bridal experts will be on-hand at the expo to help you track down your dream dress. Then you can enjoy the food and culture of Long Island or hop a boat and explore Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty.

  1. 12th Wedding Show for the Modern Bride, Los Angeles — Nov. 18

If you love all things luxe, don’t deprive yourself of the chance to visit a city known for its decadence and check out an over-the-top trunk show at the same time. The 12th Wedding Show for the Modern Bride unfolds at the illustrious Beverly Hills Hilton this November with a roundup of dresses and designers that embrace all ethnicities and cultures with their couture designs. After the show, check out the Hollywood Walk of Fame or tour a movie studio.

As a soon-to-be bride, you already know wedding planning can be stressful. When you scour trunk shows and bridal expos for the perfect gown, you can rest easy knowing you won’t see another bride wearing the same dress — after all, the designer has only made it available to a select few. If you fold a vacation into the trunk show experience, you can also decompress before the big day. So choose one of these trunk shows, find your dream dress and enjoy some down time before tying the knot.

How to Prepare for Your First Bridal Portrait Session

We have guest blogger, Kacey Bradley, sharing with us some tips on how to prepare for your first bridal session.

How to Prepare for Your First Bridal Portrait Session

Everything about getting ready for your wedding is exciting and special! You get to personalize every detail of your ceremony and reception, so when the day finally arrives, you can celebrate the start of your marriage in the best ways possible with your family and friends.

To keep the memories coming and make them last, it’s a common practice for brides to have bridal sessions before their weddings. It’s an extra opportunity to dress up in your gown and experience the thrill that comes with walking around in your dream dress and veil.

Having a bridal portrait session is fun, but you should still be prepared before you meet with your photographer. Here are eight things you can do so you’re ready when the camera starts snapping away. 

  1. Schedule as Early as Possible

Even if you have the world’s best wedding planner, your life will still get pretty hectic during the last few weeks before your big day. Last-minute problems always arise, so you’ll find yourself busy with things you didn’t think about before.

That’s why it’s a great idea to schedule your bridal portrait session as early as possible. You’ll have more time to work with the details like where it’s going to take place and how long you want to spend there. Plus, you’ll get your pictures back sooner — and possibly even have time to frame them to show at your reception.

  1. Have a Backup Plan Ready

It’s always good to have a backup plan for big events, and that includes portrait sessions. Outdoor pictures can be gorgeous with the right lighting and venue, but what happens if the weather gets rainy or cold?

Talk to your photographer about a suitable secondary location in case something goes wrong. Think about how you could take pictures indoors, or another outdoor venue that wouldn’t require scheduling. Not all outdoor photoshoots are at reserved locations, so look around your town to see what inspires you.

  1. Consider Using Props

Professional photographers use props all the time to make every picture look perfect. Antique chairs or tables give you something to interact with, but the most common accessory is flowers. 

Real bouquets cost brides 7 to 8 percent of their overall wedding budgets, so you may consider getting silk flowers for your photos. Silk flowers are cheaper than real ones because they are artificial and simple to make. They’ll look just as fresh as real flowers, but without the hefty price tag.

  1. Get Your Dress Fitted

Dress fittings are different for every bride since it's unlikely your dress is going to perfectly fit you when you try it on the first time. Talk to your seamstress to make sure you can get your dress fitted and sent back as soon as possible. This way, you can have your portrait session done early.

  1. Let the Professionals Handle Hair and Makeup

You do your hair and makeup on a daily basis, so it might seem silly to spend money at a salon when you can do it on your own. When your portrait session happens, you’ll want to look your best. Professional cosmetologists will ensure your look is up to date and able to withstand an extended photo session.

You can attempt a few hair and makeup trials on your own, but they’re harder than they look. Don’t let yourself stress about perfecting your appearance on the day of your portrait session. A professional team will let you kick back and relax, so you can truly enjoy the moment.

  1. Bring Along Comfort Items

It sounds like fun to do a photo session — and it definitely is — but they can take a lot longer than you may think. With a bridal portrait session, your photographer will want to capture the best angles and poses to flatter you. Since that could lead to more time in front of the camera, it’s smart to bring along a few supplies.

Come prepared to your session with any items you may need if the photos run long. If you’ll be outside, bring a coat or blanket to stay warm between takes. Keep a cooler in your car with snacks and drinks. Whatever would make you comfortable, think about bringing it with you to make the process that much more enjoyable.

  1. Research Other Bridal Sessions

The best way to know what to expect from your bridal portrait session is to see what other brides have done. Social media and Pinterest are wonderful places to start! You can see different poses, props, locations and lighting options you might not have thought about. Researching could be a game changer for how you and your photographer plan your shoot, so have fun looking around online to get inspired.

  1. Bring Along Family and Friends

Showing up to your session alone could make things a bit awkward. It’s always more fun to have your family and friends by your side, so invite them to come with you and cheer you on. Depending on the time you have and your preferences, they could even join in on the fun for some cute behind-the-scenes candid shots you’ll cherish forever.

Preparing for your first bridal portrait sessions is essential to making it work. You'll walk into the shoot knowing what you're going to look like and what kind of photos you want to end up with. Spending some time researching will also prevent you from scheduling a second portrait session if the pictures don’t end up quite right. 

Try some or all of these eight tips to ensure you arrive prepared and ready to have fun during your bridal portrait session.

 

Kacey Bradley is the blogger behind The Drifter Collective, an eclectic lifestyle blog that expresses various forms of style through the influence of culture and the world around us. Kacey graduated with a degree in Communications while working for a lifestyle magazine. She has been able to fully embrace herself with the knowledge of nature, the power of exploring other locations and cultures, all while portraying her love for the world around her through her visually pleasing, culturally embracing and inspiring posts. Along with writing for her blog, she has written for sites like U.S. News, SUCCESS, Ruffled, and more! 

Follow Kacey on Twitter and subscribe to her blog to keep up with her travels and inspiring posts!

Romantic Estate Wedding Editorial

In the midst of summer, we put together an editorial at the new venue The Estate on Second. I wanted to work with light and lots of greenery for this particular editorial. And our French garden inspired shoot at an estate-like venue was the perfect landscape to bring our vision to life.

We were so fortunate to work with some of industry's top vendors. Adrienne Gunde did a beautiful job in capturing our work. And we had the honor of having it featured on Elizabeth Anne Designs! Enjoy!

Venue: The Estate on Second

Photography: Adrienne Gunde

Design + Coordination: Chloe+Mint

Florals: Emblem Flowers

Tabletop: Otis and Pearl

Furniture: Party Pieces by Perry

Linens: La Tavola Fine Linens

Dresses and Accessories: BHLDN

Ring: Trumpet and Horn

Veil: The Veiled Beauty

Hair and Makeup: Blooming Beauty by Cammy

Model: Andrea Vasquez

Paper Suites: A Fabulous Fete

Catering and Cake: Jay's Catering

 

California Coastal Shoot

It's been months since we put this photo shoot together back in February with an amazing team of vendors, but luckily I got to relive it today. If you missed it on Style Me Pretty, take a peak at the gorgeous pictures Carol Ly shot in film.

Our inspiration came from the cool colors of the sea and the rocks that are scattered throughout the beach of El Matador in Malibu. Our models: Sydney and my good friend, Jourdan, were such troopers bearing the cold waters during the tail end of winter. Behind the scenes, our vendor team members were definitely working it as we had to bring the pieces up and down the cliffside- no easy task! The day was absolutely beautiful and we couldn't have been happier with the results.

Since then, I am genuinely happy to see that others have found inspiration from this shoot. And I hope you will enjoy it today!

Photography: Carol Ly

Design/ Coordination: Chloe+Mint

Floral Design: Indigo and Plum

Furniture: Mint Vintage

Tabletop: Borrowed Blu

Linens: La Tavola Fine Linens

Bakery: S'More Sweets

Paper Suites: Smitten on Paper

Dress: BHLDN // Alexandra Grecco

Veil: VeiledBeauty

Hair Accessory: Handmade by Sara Kim

Hair and Makeup: Theresa Huang

Bride Model: Sydney Lee

Groom Model: Jourdan Quevedo

Location: Malibu Beach